The Emulator - transparent touchscreen mixing desk puts DJs center stage
While traditional mixing desks can bury DJs behind bulky equipment in a dimly lit corner of the club, this transparent, 46-inch multi-touch system from software development company Smithson Martin puts the person spinning the discs - or in this case the touch display - front and center.
Billed as the "world's first and only multi-touch midi controller PC software for professional DJ and music," Emulator is a MIDI controller that shows all the information on one single screen and gives the user a colorfully lit display of all tracks and controls.
The Emulator features 130 controls covering all the usual functions of DJ'ing (of course there's no need to lug around your old vinyl) and the screen is made from durable toughened glass - useful if a disgruntled raver hurls a beer can in your direction. Being see-through, the set-up also adds an extra dose of audience interaction to the whole process as the crowd can watch you mix, add effects and loop tracks ... and hopefully applaud you in the process.
The MIDI controller PC software is designed for Windows 7 (a Mac OSX version is currently being developed) and right now it only works with Traktor Pro. Smithson Martin says that Emulator for Ableton, Serato and Virtual DJ are currently in development. The minimum system requirements are Windows 7 Home Premium or better (32/64 bit), Dual Core 1.3 Ghz CPU, 1 GB RAM and an ASIO sound card (though 4 GB RAM and Native Instruments Audio2DJ sound card or better are recommended).
The whole shebang comes with the multi-touch screen in 32", 42" and 46" versions, Emulator Software, stand and projector mount, 2200 lumen short throw projector and technical support. Depending on which size screen you choose the full package Emulator costs between GBP4,300 (approx. US$6665) and GBP5600 (approx. US$8680). Custom sizes are also available by request and the stand-alone software for use on your own tablet or multi-touch device costs US$249.
Source: Smithson Martin